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Pediatric poisoning pattern: A comparison of preadolescent and adolescent groups in Hong Kong over 3 years

Safiyyah Nok Sze Lui, Chi Keung Chan
Published: 11 October 2021

Abstract: Objective: To compare local poisoning patterns of preadolescents and adolescents. Methods: Retrospective cross-sectional study. Data collected through the Hong Kong Poison Information Centre (HKPIC) Poisoning Information and Clinical Management System (PICMS). Patients aged 10 to 17 years old from January 2016 to December 2018 were included and divided into preadolescent (10–12 years old) and adolescent (13–17 years old) groups. Statistical analysis for categorical variables was performed using chi-square test of independence, p < 0.05. Strength of association examined with Cramer’s V. Rate ratios with 95% confidence interval were used to determine nature of association, using preadolescents as comparison group. Results: A total of 703 cases were analyzed. There were 107 cases in the preadolescent group and 596 cases in the adolescent group. Three variables showed moderate association: intentional exposure (rate ratio: 2.91, 2.13–3.98), exposure in school (rate ratio: 0.30, 0.21–0.44), and the use of pharmaceuticals (rate ratio: 1.95, 1.57–2.44). The most common substance of exposure were analgesics (n = 213, 24.94%) and fumes, gases, and vapors (n = 19, 15.08%) in adolescents and preadolescents, respectively. Conclusion: Epidemiological difference still exists between preadolescents and adolescents. The association of adolescents with intentional poisoning, and the use of pharmaceuticals was highlighted. The study acts as a recent update of pediatric poisoning patterns and hopes to act as a reference for future studies.
Keywords: Accidents / child / intoxication / suicide / youth

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